After blogging about it aaaages ago, I finally booked a table at Sketch for afternoon tea. I used to go to Sketch quite a lot in my uni days, so I was excited to go back after having not visited for a couple of years. The girlies I went with had never been before, so I couldn’t wait to share the experience with them. A short walk from Oxford Circus tube station, Sketch looks rather inconspicuous from the outside. Indicated by a small plaque with a rather smart doorman outside, even I was a bit wary about walking in unannounced. Shuffling inside and through a curtain, it really is like nothing you’ve experienced before with the dimly lit hallway laced with quirky art and installations.. we happily hop-scotched towards the reception.
While we waited for our table, it would have been rude not to of had an obligatory trip to the infamous Sketch toilets! These are the most amazing toilets you will ever visit. Very much earning their place in Time Out’s ‘London’s top 10 toilets’, the egg-like white pods are actually the loos themselves, with attendants dressed in french maid style outfits on hand if you get a tad confused. There were many people taking photos of the toilets, more so than people using them.. but what do you expect when the bathroom looks this good? We also had a good mooch in the modern fairy tale woodland bar ‘The Glade’, where people were also having afternoon tea and drinks.
The Gallery was just as pink as the photo’s I’d seen, with the amazing David Shrigley illustrations lining the walls. We all went for the cream tea (the cheapest obvs) as the next tea up on the menu was around £49! Looking around the room it seemed like everyone else had gone for the pricey tea, and were happily washing it down with glasses of champagne.. alright for some! We were more than pleased with ours though, which included two scones with cream and two types of jam..they were delicious and actually really filling. The choice of teas were impressive too, I went for Chai while the girls went for Ginseng. All the crockery used was branded with quirky Shrigley-isms, and these were also available to buy on your way out (at a large fee!).
As expected, the dimly lit room didn’t make the best photo shoot for our experience, but it certainly added to the atmosphere. I loved the plush pink chairs and the copper accents (I have an obsession with copper at the mo!) The only downside to the day was the expensive add ons – £4.50 for a bottle of water, which we were offered as if it was complimentary; and the 12.5% automatic service charge that was added to our bill. The way I see it though is that Sketch isn’t somewhere you’d go all the time, so one offs like this are fine. The quirky touches really makes Sketch unique – our bill came in an envelope made of sandpaper, which we were all excited by(!) and the waitresses were dressed in odd unshapely sack-like dresses, which added to the bizarre surroundings. I’d love to go back for cocktails in one of the other rooms soon, but right now I’m just so happy I finally made it to The Gallery after wanting to experience it for so long! Definitely worth a visit.